The joint venture of St George and Illawarra have made it into the grand final after some tough times, courtesy of a field goal from five-eighth Jamie Soward that proved to be the winner.

With the scores tied at 12-all in the 73rd minute, it was Jamie Soward who stepped up and kicked what would be the winning field goal, courtesy of a beautiful dummy half pass from Nathan Fien.

The lead was enough for the Dragons to hang on, as they have proven to be one of the best grinders in the NRL, in that they have the ability to hang on to narrow leads when it matters most.

Dragons coach Wayne Bennett said that he told his players to make sure that the game didn’t go to extra-time, and that they got a point before the final siren.

“They set it up great and they had the belief and the confidence they could hold out for another six or seven minutes,” he said. “That’s all part of the package – if you don’t think you can hold that one point, then you don’t go for it, you’re looking for more.”

Despite being behind on the score-sheet at half-time, the Tigers once again suffered their customary second-half fade, that was evident against both the Roosters and Raiders in successive weeks.

No doubt the tough physicality of the match played a part in the Tigers loss, as they couldn’t cope physically and mentally with a stronger Dragons side.

Entering what will be a staggering 8th grand final appearance and third against rival Brian Smith, Bennett said that the result hadn’t quite sunk in yet.

“It hasn’t kind of struck me yet,” he said.

“It was a pretty tough game – intense and you’re never sure … so the feeling will get better as the night goes on.”

The match very nearly erupted even more so when Dean Young and Robbie Farah were involved in a verbal clash, where it’s believed that Dragons player Dean Young may have made derogatory remarks towards Farah.

Nothing came of the incident though, and Young is free to play next week.

At the post-match press conference, Farah was asked about that very incident.

“I’ll leave that on the field,” he said.

“I was on the bottom of it, I wasn’t too happy with it at the time but that didn’t decide the game so I’d rather be talking about the footy.”

By ricky

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